Drawing and Nature

Most of my drawings begin with a photograph from Nature, or even a natural object. It’s not so I can attempt to recreate objects exactly, but to provide a resource for observation and reference which grounds the artwork in reality.

A drawing of an unusual mushroom.

As you can see, the finished product is both stylized and realistic (within the limits of my ability in regard to both). I like learning how best to convey texture, contour, volume, and depth, developing my self-taught technique to serve my need.

The mushroom drawn above, as shown in a picture from life.

But I like to remain essentially faithful to the particular thing itself, discovering its structural secrets and honoring its imperfections and uniqueness.  Here is the original, which I spotted on the way in to work last week. Continue reading “Drawing and Nature”

Tool Time

Here are a few of my favorite odd tools. These are mostly just stuff I grabbed of a moment, but have come to rely upon in my hobbying.

From the top we have:

1) Micron pen. I like pens as small as I can get them, and manga-style pens are the best I’ve found. .005 Sakura is my weapon of choice. I don’t really know what .005 refers to, as the nib is 0.2mm thick. Even if you only use them for (TOP TIP) dotting pupils, they’re solid gold.

2) Forceps. My brother and I are anglers (too rarely!), so I grabbed these one time when I needed a locking grip on a small object. Great tool when you need it.

3) Bend rule. Sits nice & steady for precise work.

4) Silicon tweezers. They both resist sticking and spring apart when you release tension. Extremely useful for many applications.

5) And this is my favorite tool of all. It’s a crappy old pair of needle-nosed pliers that somehow became extremely tight. So tight, in fact, that it can be used almost as a handheld vice. I can’t tell you how to make one, but, like many lucky accidents, when they failed, I found a use for them. I use these all the time!

Give me a comment below and let me know what weird tools you find yourself reaching for on your hobby bench!